Franchise expos can be an incredible tool in the kit of every coach and franchisee.
Nobody knows this more than ActionCOACH Florida and Georgia CEO and President, Nick Dove, who has been attending expos for years.
Dove describes these events as expo opportunities designed to allow franchises to showcase their product, and there are several keys to having a successful experience.
According to Dove, the first is organization and participation.
“At ActionCOACH, as you’d expect, we are lucky we have a whole system that has been elaborately developed. And like so much of the franchise, if you follow the system, you’ll be successful. It’s all in the Franchise Expo System Manual.”
Dove said that the manual breaks down the strategy for everything, from the way the operators should dress to how you speak with prospects.
“There are even scripts,” he said.
Expos can be hit and miss and not every show will be the right fit. Be sure to collect a great deal of information about expected attendees and demographics before signing up. Also, get a list of expected exhibitors. It’s good to know if your competition will also be on site so that you can make the best decision and the best investment for your marketing dollars.
At a recent expo in Florida, Dove and his team were able to garner 48 leads following the outlined system.
“These are people willing to give names, contact details, tell us what they’re looking for,” Dove said. “Some leads were from all over the states and even across Latin America.”
For the most success, Dove recommends having at least two people on the stand.
“So that one can be in the hallway catching the passersby who looks like the target demographic and then send them over to the other guy on the stand to have deeper conversations,” he said. “It’s a tag team approach.”
Expos are full of flows of traffic passing through the hallways and, like in the department store, if you’re passive they will walk right past you. However, if you are proactive and engage people they will actually stop and take notice of you.
“That may lead to a conversation that is meaningful,” Dove said. “The success is there for the taking if you follow the systems.”
According to Dove, the work isn’t done once the expo has ended.
“You have to be sure to follow up with the leads after the expo,” he said.
“This is trickier,” he said. “Some people can be hard to tie down, but you have to be persistent. That’s the key.”